Friday, 29 April 2011

I love cables! And weddings!

Seriously. Every time I start to get bored with this jumper, an interesting cable bit comes in. It's like knitting for ADHD people. The minute you get bored, everything changes. I think I've found my forté in knitting! And my hoodie is going really well!

I spent this afternoon at a street party with my parent's next door neighbours to celebrate the royal wedding. have to say, even though I'm not pro-royalist, I really enjoyed it. I think Kate Middleton's dress was absolutely beautiful, and Princess Beatrice's hat was hideous! Also, there was a bridesmaid that looked like the bride of Chucky! But if I had an opportunity to wear it, I would definitely steal Kate's sister's bridesmaid dress. In my opinion, it was even more lovely than the wedding dress. And I couldn't stop smiling at the happy couple. They clearly love each other very much, and I loved the fact that Kate didn't stop grinning all day!

I've spent the afternoon finishing my coursework, then when it was finished, drinking wine and eating barbecue with the neighbours. I discovered my next door neighbour's daughter went to Nottingham to study nursing, so I spent a nice evening drinking white wine and discussing the QMC, various injuries and med students' attitudes to nurses. I think I had a little too much wine though!

Anyway the boy's project on Hard Knott has come on so much! Since I have had a very large hand in this, I think I can post it: 

We went from this:

To this:

And then this:
I'm actually really impressed by how good this looks, and how quick it's coming along, I just wish the photos showed the 3D aspect of it better. I'm just really proud of my boy. And I have no interesting knitting or cross stitch to post. So who else has done big, non-fabric related projects?

I know I haven't!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

WIP Wednesday - Cables!

Well I discovered many things this week, but the most important is, cables are fun! I'm getting on pretty well with my Central Park Hoodie, though I'm not sure if it'll fit me or not. It's a good job I like tight fitting jumpers. Again, not much time for knitting this week though, but this is so quick and easy to make, so it's going really well. The only thing is, this wool seems pretty insubstantial and I can't believe it's aran weight, it feels more like DK. But its very soft and I can just wear it in spring/autumn if its a bit too thin for winter.

Most of my week has been taken up writing an executive summary for a report (which doesn't exist) following a meeting of the Martinshire County Health Budget Stakeholder meeting (yes, that also doesn't exist). Sometimes my coursework seems like a bit of stupid idea. This is for the module which has more work for the exam than any other, and is worth about 1/8th of the marks of any other. But I shouldn't complain, it'll work out OK in the end, and I'll have lots of knitting time after the exams are over.

The rest of the week was spent helping with this:

And I had to sacrifice my best needle to this fort! It's getting very impressive at the moment, but it needs handing in on Tuesday so it really needs to get finished. I'm sure it'll be finished in time. I hope it'll be finished in time...

Head on over to Tami's Amis to see other people's amazing work.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Cast on Friday... Not got the same ring to it...

Well, I've really not done too much since I last posted, as I've been working, and then today we went to the Lake District to look at Hard Knott fort for the boy's Uni project. It was really nice looking at all the ruins, even though I spent most of the day holding a tape measure (see picture for what we did!), and I got a few rows of my scarf done sitting in the sun whilst the boy and my Dad climbed a mountain. I would've gone up too, but it felt like a bit of a busman's holiday, since I spend every day walking!

The boy might kill me for that one, but I love it. He's standing in the ruins of a sauna at the bath house just outside the fort walls. And here are a couple of pictures just to show the amazing views (and how surprisingly sunny it was!):

That last one had my Mum, Dad and dogs in the background if you're keen eyed (or click on it to make it bigger!) Anyway, I doubt anyone is interested, but if you like forts, the full album is here

Back to knitting, I did my gauge swatch for the central park hoodie, and I got 18 stitches and 26 rows per 4 inches, rather than 17 and 24. But since I'm somewhere between a size 36 and 38, I've decided to go with my gauge and knit a size 40.... I hope it works out ok. But since I've had no time at all, I've got about 4 rows done so far.

And I realised that since my gauge swatch is a square, I can donate it to Knit-a-soc (my Uni knitting society) for their snuggly square drive, which they're using to make blankets for the elderly. I need to make some more of those as well!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Accidental stash enhancement

As I said yesterday, today was the boy's birthday and he loved my presents. I even managed to surprise him which is almost impossible, so I was very pleased with myself! I got him a couple of books, an old Warhammer Predator, which he knew he was getting and Pokemon White for the DS. He loved them. Then today I bought him a surprise Storm Raven in the Games Workshop shop...

But the surprise stash enhancement came after we went for lunch and were near the hobbycraft store in Leeds, which I've never been to. We thought we would just nip in to see what they had and I spotted the biggest ball of aran wool I've ever seen! It's bigger than my head and only cost £7.50. And it's soft enough for me to wear... since I've been planning to make the famous owls sweater I thought it would be perfect. But then I had to get the circular needles and cable needle that I needed to make it, of course...

Then I noticed the Sidar Crofter which I saw knitted up over at Misadventures in Craft (she's going to think I'm stalking her!) but it was just too itchy for me. But then they had it in baby wool, and I've been dying to make a pair of socks out of it....

And I needed the tailors' chalk, I haven't had any for my last 2 projects and pencil just doesn't work as well.

I think I was very restrained, I could have spent much longer than an hour in there and spent a lot, lot more money. There was some amazing Regia sock wool and some lovely cross stitch kits.... Does anyone else have problems not buying the entire shop when they go into a craft store?

Anyway, then we went to the cinema and out for a meal, and I think the boy had a good birthday XD

ETA: Well, I'm an idiot. The aran is too thin for the owls pattern, which calls for chunky (it's the baby version that you can use aran for) and I thought I picked up 100g of the Crofter, but actually only picked up 50g. So now I'm going to make the Central Park Hoodie, so I need MORE of the aran, more needles and another ball of the Crofer in the same dye lot. Wish me luck for going back...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Inspiration strikes

Well, I think that WIP Wednesday actually inspired me this week, because last night I got all the cross stitch finished on my bookmark! I've actually done a bit more than this as I've done the backstitch on the tree, though there is still a few hours backstitching to do. I have to give him his namesake tattiness! It's hard to tell in this picture, but without the french knots for his eyes, he looks positively possessed.

Anyway, I was on eBay looking for a bookmark kit to do for my Gran for her 70th birthday (I can't knit her anything as she used to be able to knit a lot better than I can), I found a kit that I've wanted for ages for only £3! So I had to bid on it but, don't tell the boy...

Today, me and the boy went to our boss's house this morning as she is doing 2 jobs and needed someone who was good with computers to enter all the work that our team has been doing this week, so we spent all morning doing that. Then she gave us a lift home, and as we walked through the door my Dad was dishing up Sunday lunch for my parents and my cousins. I thought we would miss it, but we got our Sunday roast and still only had to do 3 hours walking. And even better, we get to spend the whole day entering things on Tues, as they all have to be done before Wednesday, so not much more walking this week.

Anyway, it's the boy's birthday tomorrow, and our day off. I haven't made him anything, as his scarf isn't finished and he won't appreciate anything else. He categorically does not want me to knit him socks, which I really want to do.... But I did get him a few surprises, so I hope he likes them!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Is it really Friday already?

Well, I'm back with another FO Friday, again, better late than never! This time, I bit the bullet and actually washed my Dad's socks myself rather than waiting for him to do it!

There's an interesting story to these. When I was a young and new knitter (so not very long ago) I asked my Dad what he would like for Christmas in about June (so I had time to finish it) and he said a knitted camouflage hat. So I went on the Internet and the only camouflage wool I could find was Regia Galaxy sock wool which is a 4ply wool. Well for some reason, I thought 4ply and DK were the same thing, and ordered 3 balls of it, just to be sure I had enough. When it arrived it looked pretty thin, but i got out my 4mm DPNs and got started. And I came out with a very pretty lace hat... Which would be no good at all for my Dad.

So I frogged it and did a bit more research. The ball band said to use 2.5mm DPNs, so I bought some and started again, and came out with a hat that was the right size and thickness for a small doll...

Than I discovered Ravelry, and realised this wool was NEVER going to make a good hat for my Dad. So I gave up. I bought some rather more expensive DK sock wool for his hat (still didn't learn my lesson though, and ordered twice what I needed, which is why he ended up with gloves too), and decided I would be best to just use the free pattern that came with the wool to make some socks. And then, after I finished the first one, I realised I had bought enough wool to make 3, but definitely not 4 socks. After a bit of thought, I realised that I would never use the remaining ball for anything else, so I gave up and shelled out MORE money to buy a fourth. And that is how I ended up make 4 unplanned socks. Which I am very, very proud of!

My first socks. It's a proud moment, even if they were his Christmas present (and birthday in January, I didn't get all 4 finished in time along with the hat and gloves.)
Again head over to Tami's Amis, to see what other people have been making!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

WIP Wednesday - Tatty Teddy

For today's work-in-progress Wednesday, I realised the only projects that I'm currently actually working on (rather than hibernating), and haven't already blogged about, is a cross stitch bookmark for me. I've realised that I'm awful at making things for myself, mainly because I don't have either a deadline or any sense of joy of finishing so I can give it to the recipient. This kit was bought as a present to myself for finishing my exams and should've only taken me about a week to do (this was in January), and yet I'm still doing it. I took this picture about a month ago, yet it's still relevant because I've only done about 6 stitches on it...

Please excuse the awful mobile phone picture!
I love making bookmarks, I've made one for the boy and one for my Mum so far, and Dad is next. And I really need one, so I should really get this finished.

If you want to see other people's WIPs have a look here

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Things what I has done...

Since I have absolutely nothing interesting to write and have done no crafty things today, I've stolen this from pinkundine at Misadventures in Craft, who is a very good blogger! Go read her blog, it's more interesting than mine!

Things I have done in bold

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch (yay for knitting!)

15. Adopted a child (I wanted to in Malawi!)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train 
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (how sad am I?)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise 
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors (since it's just up the road)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language (French)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (I love Malawi)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance (several times, never for me)
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (And walked it as well!)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (in school, for charity, we made about £2500)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (didn't see any though...)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (I tried to, but I'm anaemic..)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (not that that's a good thing, and I think my rent's about to bounce this week)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (Ankle in 3 places!)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (next summer hopefully)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper (for no.57)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (I met Mick Jagger whilst walking Hadrian's wall. It was a surreal experience)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant (in Cambodia)

48/100, and I'm not even 20 yet, that's not bad!

I've run out of work to do this week, so only 4 1/2 hours walking today, but since i needed to do 6, there goes my Friday off!

Monday, 11 April 2011

All work and no play...

I can't believe I've already been home from Uni for a week, it feels like absolutely forever. I started a new job on Wednesday, which isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I'm collecting the census which has involved walking around council estates and knocking on doors warning people they're going to get a £1000 fine if they don't fill it in. I walked for 6 hours on Friday then 8 1/2 hours both Saturday and Sunday and I'm exhausted, not to mention I had to climb 4 tower blocks yesterday. Since I get to set my own hours I'm taking a day off today, to spend with the boy, who's also doing the same job, though less hours. And also because my legs hurt so much!

Only problem is, I still don't get a break because I've got loads of Uni work to do, so instead of knitting I'm making notes on aneurysms and tumour nomenclature. It is not what I want to be doing.

The other thing that's annoying is that it has been lovely sunshine here for the past 4 days (probably the only summer we're going to get in Yorkshire,) and now that I'm not working it's cloudy! But I really shouldn't complain, because at least I didn't have to go knock on doors in the rain, even if I am very sunburnt. (I can burn in cloud when wearing sunscreen.)

I did get a very nice gift though today, from my Mum's cleaning lady, who's known me for years and gave me a knitting needle case with a pair of wooden needles inside. I love free knitting things! But all I've had time to do this week is about 5 rows of knitting and about 10 cross stitches, because by the time I get in at 8pm I'm too exhausted to do anything except veg in front of the TV.

Anyway to spur myself on I thought I might post a picture of my current knitting WIP, the scarf for my boy. As you can see, it's almost entirely black, so there won't be many WIP picture since it'll be very dull. I actually find it quite relaxing to knit since I don't have to think about it, or even look. And if I want something more complicated I can just work on the cross stitch bookmark I've been making for myself since December.

The best thing about this project is the wool. I love it! I'm knitting it in Rowan Classic Cashsoft DK with highlights in Rowan Pure Wool DK and the Cashsoft is absolutely the softest, most snuggly wool ever! And even better its so lovely to knit with! I really want to make myself a jumper out of it, because it'll be so warn and soft, only problem is its so expensive.... £5 for 50g at John Lewis.....

Anyway, back to the clinical laboratory sciences =(

Friday, 8 April 2011

FO Friday, 1 year too late...

I though that since I just joined the amazing Blog Hub on Ravelry, I might join in with their finished object Friday. Only problem is, I definitely don't have a finished object to show off at the moment! So I thought I would go back in time to this point last year and show off my amazing Egg Cosies made from the Novelty Eggs pattern by Jean Greenhowe, on her free pattern page. I would really like to give this another go actually, as it only took me a couple of hours, and I'm sure I could do better now.
These were made for my housemates last year, before the big fall out, which is a totally different story. They're customised to represent the person they were intended for, since housemate 1 loves flowers and housemate 2 has a very silly purple beret. They were one of the first things I knitted so they're not perfect, but I was so proud of them and still think they're cute! The one on the left's eyes look a bit evil though...

The only problem is that they're designed to fit Cadbury's creme eggs, which of course I put in when they were given as gifts, but then you can knit a woolly egg to go inside so they don't collapse. I have no idea what I did, but my woolly eggs came out looking more like woolly tampons! I wish I'd got a picture...

Almost all the wool I used was from scraps that my Gran gave me after she discovered I was knitting since she can't do it any more, so I wanted to give it a good home, but it was all half balls with no labels. The purple came from the first thing I ever learnt to knit, which is a disastrous scarf that has never been finished but I can't bare to frog unless I have something else to do with the wool. Anyone got any idea what I can do with 3 skeins of this (300g) in purple?

All I can say is, housemate 1 still has her egg up on the mantelpiece in her room, so I think it was appreciated!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Crafts are back!

I can't believe I haven't posted on here in a month, but I've been so, so busy with coursework and lectures that I just haven't had time to do very much. And when I have had time, all I've been doing is rows and rows of plain black knitting for the boys scarf, which doesn't lead to very interesting reading.
But I'm now home from Uni for the Easter holidays, and it was my mum's birthday yesterday, so I got to play with the sewing machine I got for Christmas to make her present.

Since she is a massive fan of Cath Kidston, and I just bought her amazing Sew book, I made a Cath Kidston bag, complete with logo and everything. It didn't go badly actually, saying that I've never done much on a sewing machine before. The way that it said to make the button loop in the book is apparently impossible with canvas, but obviously I only discovered this AFTER cutting the only bit of fabric I had, so I had to kind of bodge a loop with hand sewing, but honestly it didn't look too bad when it was done.

I also managed to learn how to make buttonholes, which aren't the most beautiful in the wold, but definitely work. It would probably help if I had a more expensive sewing machine, but I love my little pink one. I also decided to line the bag only after I'd sewed the facing on, but you can't really tell and I think it actually looks really good. I did manage to prink my finger and bleed all over the button when i was sewing it on, but none got on the bag so it's all good!

Also, since I'm home, I managed to get some photos of the pictures of the Christmas presents I gave my parents. For my Mum, I made the biggest cross stitch project I have ever done, which I think I started when I was about 8, and has sat in my sewing bag since then. I am so proud of it, but my god did it take a lot of time! It's by Sybilla Davis designs, who does some lovely things. I also made her a Shaun the Sheep bookmark, since she loves Shaun, having the DVD of the kids show, and also a bag in the shape of Shaun.

And then for my Dad's birthday and Christmas, I made him a hat from a pattern given out to housewives in WWII to make for the navy, as well as some fingerless gloves. They were both made from a thick, soft, camo coloured sock wool, link here, and were meant to be worn when he goes shooting or wildfowling. Apparently they are amazingly warm, which was the point since he likes to go out in all weathers. The pattern for the hat is here and ravelry link is here. The gloves are from a Sidar booklet, Ravelry link here.

All I need now is the pictures of the 2 pairs of socks I made him, but they're in the wash and I am NOT going near his dirty socks!

Edit: I've added some links in case anyone wants to find what I've used/made